How to Be a Mom & Start Reading Again
I have enjoyed reading all my life. It’s probably one of those deep seeded recurring events that just seems natural to me. My library visits with my mom made me a reader. And then I had kids. Life became overwhelmingly busy. Full blown mom life into effect. Here's how I find time to enjoy my passion for reading, and balance work and family.
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I’m a mom and I’ll admit it, I read!
I am a reader. I have vivid memories of going to the library with my mom. We’d meet this hundred-year-old, white-haired librarian who was excited for the adventure(!) I was going to have with this book! Oh and that book! And this one, too!
I would literally walk out of the library with 15 books in hand.
I have enjoyed reading all my life. It’s probably one of those deep seeded recurring events that just seems natural to me. My library visits with my mom made me a reader.
And then I had kids.
Oh my goodness. Nothing prepares you. Reading becomes something you do in the middle of the night as you rock and feed. People magazine now has too many words and US Weekly is too floppy. So, there you have it. My phone. I am reading on my phone. Thank you, Facebook.
At least I can continue to be the multi-tasker I am always so proud to be. Rocker. Feeder. Reader. And scroller.
And when that’s too much, I log onto my beloved Instagram. (Who needs words to read?!)
Okay, but you see where I am going here. I love to read, and for a long time reading was scrolling. But a part me missed the deep stories and getting sucked into the story.
Reading, for me, is not only taking me into another world filled with courage, love, and emotion, it’s a resting place from my over-active life.
I get sucked in.
Will the character have the courage to say the right thing?
Oh no! It was misinterpreted!
Hooray for a new day! For forgiveness!
And I love a good historical fiction because for me, not only am I in the story, but I am being productive, too! I am learning!
Do you remember White Oleander by Jane Fitch and when that first came out?? Ohhh how I loved it. I still have the book because the memory of reading it is so fabulous.
Be still my heart.
And then of course, I have the memory of my beloved book club. We actually started out reading the books. We were young and mostly kidless. We would pick a book each month and discuss. We’d have some great conversations and debates, too. As our friendships grew, the conversations about the book itself dwindled. We would joke, because hours into our “book club meeting,” we would remember our “purpose” for being there! So someone would dart their hand up, “Who read the book??” And perhaps a 5-minute discussion would begin before we got sidetracked back to real-life matters. But it was the books themselves that brought us together. It was the books that opened our minds and let our voices be heard.
So how, oh how, did I bring reading back into my life now that kids and responsibilities have skyrocketed? I have tried everything.
Below are 8 Ways I Get in My Golden Time:
Actually Sit Down & Read. It’s obvious, I know, but I sneak in times all over the place. When my kids are in the bath and playing, I sneak into the other room and read a chapter. When March Madness was on and my husband wanted to watch the games, I sat down and read. When my kids were building forts in the living room, I snuck a chapter in here and there.
- Go to Bed Early. I find I hate TV now. I have one favorite show I must watch, but the rest I can take or leave. If I’ve got a good book, I say goodnight and get in 20 or 30 minutes of reading.
- Audible. I only have a few moments on my own in the car, but I just listened to this wonderful book and as I was going through it, I was looking for every moment I could to listen in. The book, this book to be precise, just went by too fast! I hear renting audio books from the library is great, too.
- Kindle. I LOVE to read from a real book with actual paper pages. It’s like I am literally holding the story in my hands. But reality of the situation is that sometimes my reading time is in the middle of the night when I can’t fall back asleep. Or I am just dying for my next opportunity to read. I can’t turn on the light so, yes, I turn on my phone and read from there.
- Facebook. Yes, that counts! I mentioned that before, I know. But I actually follow my favorite bloggers (Some favorites are: Julie Cole, Under the Sycamore and Cup of Jo) and other magazines on there. I read the news. I get into the story, into the information, and am happy to have connected in this way.
- Middle of the Night. You heard it. I own it. My kids are getting older but they still wake me up. And they have it figured out to wake me at the exact right time. My body has had enough sleep and I cannot fall back asleep! It’s still pitch dark so instead of getting up, I let my body rest and read again. If I get tired again, of course, I go back to sleep!
- Blinkist. Oh it’s this new app I am enjoying! I have all these books I save in my Amazon Prime Wish List and Blinkist is the cliff notes version! I get the enjoyment of knowing what’s really inside that business book I have to read in 15 or 20 minutes!
- Tried-and-True. I mentioned how I loved reading White Oleander. My other true favorite book is this epic story about Fancy. It’s a Gone With The Wind of the West as I say. I’ve given this book out dozens of times and just cherish every moment of it. When I don’t want to risk the time and energy to give to a book that potentially won’t fulfill, I turn back to my tried-and-true.
You see, there are many ways you can take a break from mom life to be a reader. Yes, the days where you can sit for hours upon hours may be few and far between. But chapters here and there will re-energize and re-engage you in this activity you remember.
Your kids will appreciate you, and your mind will get to wander for a bit!